Chickpeas with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
I need to be better at remembering this: every March, when I fall into a cooking rut and find myself eating the same thing — beans! — over and over again, the best way to find a little inspiration is to get out. Anywhere: restaurants, a friend’s house, or even, well, the grocery store.
I have mentioned the Honest Weight Food Co-op before — it’s where I stock up on all of my muesli ingredients — and while I typically give their bulk food section the most attention, I’ve recently discovered their prepared-food aisle, a battery of salads and slaws, grains and legumes, vegetables and fruits, tofu and curries, an array of textures and colors, each clamshell as enticing as the next.
After a week of eating beans morning, noon, and night, I made the trek to HW only to return with, well, more beans! Or sort of: a simple chickpea-and-onion salad tossed in a cilantro-lime dressing.
In this in-between season of foods, when the comforts of winter have lost some of their appeal yet spring fare still feels months away, this salad couldn’t have tasted more refreshing. And because the salad barely made it through my front door, and I immediately wanted more, I made a batch of the dressing to ensure I could eat cilantro-lime chickpeas morning, noon and night.
Chickpeas with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
- Total Time: 24 hours 45 minutes
- Yield: 1 quart
This cilantro-lime chickpea salad is inspired by a salad I recently discovered at the Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany. I have not tried canned chickpeas, but go for it if you have them on hand. This is a super simple salad: chickpeas + onions + dressing. Add to it as you wish: dried fruit, nuts, seeds, a minced jalapeno, etc., would all be welcomed here.
for cooking the chickpeas:
- 1 lb. dried chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 qts. water
for the dressing:
- 4 oz. cilantro (a large bunch)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice or white balsamic vinegar or a mix of the two
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
for the salad:
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup finely chopped red or yellow onion
- dressing to taste
- Soaking and cooking the chickpeas:Dissolve the 3 tablespoons of salt into the water. Add the chickpeas and soak for 8 to 24 hours. Drain, rinse and place in a pot with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Cover with water by three inches. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook at a gentle simmer until the chickpeas are cooked through — this can take 45 minutes (or less) or over an hour. As noted above, it is important the chickpeas are completely cooked through. Be sure to taste a few. Let the chickpeas cool in their cooking liquid. Store the chickpeas in their cooking liquid.
- Make the dressing:Place the cilantro, lime or vinegar (or both), olive oil, garlic, mustard, 2 teaspoons of the sugar, turmeric, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Purée until smooth. Taste. Adjust dressing with more salt, pepper, sugar, lime, vinegar, oil, etc.
- Make the salad:Place cooked chickpeas in a large bowl. Add minced onion. Toss with dressing to taste. I didn’t really measure, but I probably used 1 cup of minced onion for 3 cups of cooked chickpeas, and I dressed the chickpeas heavily in the dressing — go big on the dressing! Taste, adjust with more salt if necessary.
- Prep Time: 24 hours
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: Toss
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chickpeas, cilantro, lime, dressing, honest weight, co-op
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
88 Comments on “Chickpeas with Cilantro-Lime Dressing”
quick question… I am one of the unfortunates who can’t eat cilantro, soapy taste and all. What other leafy green would you work in here? Parley, basil, fennel? Any suggestions would be helpful.
I love your recipes!
I think a combination of herbs would be really nice: parsley, basil, chives, tarragon. Thank you for your kind words 🙂
Hi Alex, try adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the soaking and cooking water as per Melissa Clark recipe for hummus.
I was thinking about that yesterday, Jon, on hour 4 of cooking! I’m embarrassed I have yet to try that method, but I will next time around for sure. Thanks!
Definitely try the baking soda! I struggled with black beans for years before discovering that. Makes all the difference.
I’ve also always understood that you don’t add salt to cooking beans until they are soft for that very reason: The salt will keep them from softening… Not sure where I learned it from. Has anyone else experienced this?
Hi Alexandra! The pictures of the chickpeas look great, but the photos of Tig are even better! So freaking cute! She’s lucky she has a mom that cooks like you do. I will be making these for sure. Who knows, maybe my little one will eat them too? 🙂
I think Miles might go for them! The dressing is a little sweet, which is why I think the Tiglet likes them so much.
I love little salads like this! I usually just do parsley, olive oil, lemon juice + tons of grated parmesan or pecorino in my simple chickpea salad lunches, but I can’t wait to try this.
Oh, Ileana, I bet Pecorino or Parm would be such a nice addition here! Your recipe sounds simple and delicious. Love it.
Can’t wait to try this Ali! And yes your little daughter looks adorable. I’ll be sure to test this recipe on my boys, they love chickpeas 🙂
Hope to see you soon,
Melissa, so great to hear from you! Hope to see you soon, too … are you heading to Dart’s reunion in May? We’re going! Hope you are well, and I hope your boys approve of the chickpeas.
I feel the same way about this recipe as your child. FEED ME.
Haha, I love it, Phoebe 🙂 🙂 🙂
Looking forward to trying this. I think my daughter will love it!
Speaking of daughters, yours is adorable. Happy belated birthday to Tig!
Happy Easter to all of you!
Thank you, Trish! We still haven’t celebrated … good thing she doesn’t know 🙂 Hoping to have a party on Saturday. Hope your daughter likes the chickpeas!
Looks delicious. Chickpeas that are old often take a much longer time to cook, even if they are pre soaked. Sometimes it seems like they never really cook in the end and they end up tasting grainy and hard.
Yes, I am discovering this, Lesley. I think with chickpeas I’m going to stop adding salt to the cooking liquid until the very end.
I just made this salad and my husband and I loved it!!!
Now I know how to use a ton of leftover cilantro.
So happy to hear this Yumiko! I know, this is a great one to keep in mind in the summer especially if you belong to a CSA…I am always overloaded with herbs.
Oh wow! I made this tonight and it’s so delicious! I think your cilantro lime dressing is going to be my go-to dressing for the summer. I’m putting it on everything. So so good!
So happy to hear this, Gemma! I find it so refreshing, too 🙂
Reporting back that your cilantro sauce has graced roasted cauliflower, salmon, and in an avocado corn salad. It’s going into everything around here. I love it!
Yay!!, Gemma, this makes me so happy. Thanks so much for reporting back!!
Hi, I can’t wait to make this, but since I’m trying to lose weight, I was wondering how many servings you make out of this? And if you sub in canned chickpeas, how many cans? Thanks!
Sorry for the delay here… I’m in CA! I would say this dressing makes at least 4 servings. As for cans, I would say the dressing would dress 2 15-oz cans, but this is a guess. Hope that helps!
I am sure this will make an amazing salad.
When you say mustard, what do you mean? Mustard seeds, split mustard flakes or just French mustard?
I cook the chickpeas in a pressure cooker. Takes about 7 mins once the steam pressure has built up. This is common practice for cooking dried beans in India.
Hi Tina, So sorry for the delay here … I’m in CA. I use Dijon mustard.
I really really need to get a pressure cooker. A friend’s parents has been touting them for years… can’t beat 7 minutes 🙂
I used French, because that’s what I had lying around, and it was good! A little heavy on the mustard-y taste, so I’d do a little less mustard, if you’re going to use French. Unless that’s what you like.
This was my lunch today. Loved the color and tang of the dressing. Considered drinking it. Threw in some weary kale leaves, minced, and upped the red onion to turbo level. Ate it with a spoon.
I love you Martha
Love a good bean salad. This looks easy! Thanks!
Me, too, Kitty!
I made this last night and it was wonderful!
So happy to hear this, Genevieve!
This was so good!! I left out the onion and added black beans to it. I loved it. What do you think the calorie count is on the dressing?
Nice!! Love that idea. Oh Michelle, I am terrible about knowing nutritional information … so sorry.
I made this tonight with the Honey Soy Chicken and everyone enjoyed it including the picky eaters. Thanks!
Yay!! Makes me so happy. What a great combo 🙂 Thanks for writing in, Susie.
I made this tonight. The dressing was SO good! I threw in a little avocado and included some corn and edamame with the chickpeas and it was divine. Thank you so much for my new favourite dressing!
Yay!! love the sound of those additions. Thanks for writing in, Cath!
can the sugar be avoided?
You could try without it, but I think the dressing will be very tart. Do this: mix up the dressing, taste it, and then add sugar to taste if at all.
This is my new favorite way to make chickpeas!!! I could eat this for days!! Had it last night with dinner (the husb liked it a lot), today for lunch. It’s so refreshing and delicious. I feel like I need to feed this to people so they can get as excited about it and make it theirs too. I soaked the heck out of my chickpeas and they cooked up in an hour. They also cooked perfectly, thank you for your recipe. This salad will now be a staple in my house and I can’t wait to try it in different ways i.e. last night was a side, today I heaped it onto toasted ciabatta. Yum! Thanks!
Kelly, I’m so happy to hear this! And I’m so glad your chickpeas cooked up quickly … it’s so hard to be patient after hour 2 🙂 Love the idea of heaping the chickpeas onto ciabatta — my idea of a perfect salad. Thanks for writing in!
Skip the salt until after the chick peas are cooked – it inhibits them from softening. When they’re done, add salt and let them rest in a salt bath off heat. Hope that helps! :)).
Super tasty. Thanks.
Thank you, Tamara! It does, thank you 🙂 🙂
I’m just getting to this recipe.
I’ve never had much luck soaking beans, but between your directions and advice from the comments it turned out great! I soaked them for almost 24 hours in water with 3 tablespoons of salt. Then, I boiled and simmered them for 1 and 1/2 hours with a bit of baking powder, adding a little salt at the end. Since I’m usually eating canned chickpeas, I appreciated the ability to temper the salt.
My dressing did not look like yours. LOL. I found it a little too sweet, so next time I will back off on the sugar. It was so sweet for me that I thought I could have mixed in some hard alcohol with it! I would have preferred a little more garlic. I paired it with coconut milk rice, drizzled with sriracha, which was delicious. The kids enjoyed the beans. I will definitely be making this again. And the next day I had enough leftover chickpeas to make hummus!
Hi Sarah! So happy to hear you’ve had success with the bean soaking and cooking. I should make a note about the dressing—people can always add more sugar to taste. Coconut milk rice and sriracha sounds amazing!!
Hi. I’m going to try making this tonight for dinner. The pics look amazing! Let’s see if our little one enjoys this as much as yours 🙂
I hope your little one did!! 🙂
Delicious! I didn’t have sugar so I substituted honey. We loved it. Can’t wait for juicy, vine ripened tomatoes to serve in big wedges alongside this salad in summer. I agree with Gemma that the dressing is going to be great on so many things. …in wraps….on grilled portobello ‘burgers’ and lots more 🙂
Yay! So happy to hear this!
Yay!! So happy to hear this, Mer 🙂
This is such a great recipe! I have always eaten chickpeas cooked in Indian spices – so this was a welcome change.
I used a pressure cooker and it took about 20 minutes to cook the chickpeas (I had soaked them overnight).
Nice! So happy to hear this Raghav! I am trying to learn to cook beans in my Instant Pot.
I just made this salad this week. I don’t care for cooking my own beans so I used three cans of chickpeas. This is the perfect Sunday night salad to have ready for lunches all week. Plus it’s not hard to make.
So happy to hear this, Rachel!
I’ve been wanting to make/eat this since your IG story. It was worth the wait. Delicious!
So happy to hear this, Alan! Loved seeing your IG post 🙂
This is just the perfect little salad! It’s hearty but light, refreshing, and super flavorful. I shared the recipe with a coworker and we just spent lunch messaging each other about how good it is, how we plan to eat it all summer, and all the variations we could think of. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
So happy to hear this Lynett!
Made it for Game Night last night, again to rave reviews! Two people asked for the recipe, two people asked to take some home. I managed to save a little scoop for myself. This feels sacrilegious but Smitten Kitchen has a crisp flatbread recipe that goes perfect with this. Thanks, again!
This was delicious. I put this on top of my cold kale salad. Yum! Perfect hit of protein and flavor. When I make it next time, I’m going to add more cilantro and less mustard. I substituted maple syrup for sugar this time. Thanks!